Citigroup is the largest financial institution, an international conglomerate, dating back to 1812. It appeared in the spring of 1998 due to the merger of two banks – Citicorp and Travelers Group, from which it received its current name. Today, the company forms the so-called “big four” US banks and is the securities’ primary dealer. In 2011, it was ranked as a systemically important financial institution.
Meaning and History
This banking structure has an even more ancient origin, dating back to 1791. It was then that the First Bank of the United States was opened, which went bankrupt a few years later. In 1812, its New York branch became independent and was reorganized into the City Bank of New York.
In 1865, he was granted a national bank license and a work permit on behalf of the Treasury. Unlike many other financial services, the new player combined large investment projects with retail deposits and operations, so he was a winner. Gradually he moved on to takeovers of competitors.
Later, in the 20th century, the bank became a powerful financial instrument at the international level. It received its name, reflected in the emblem, from the “progenitors” – CITIcorp and Travelers GROUP. Overall, there are about seven logos in his career.
1976 – 1980
Citicorp had a monochrome logo with simple elements. It showed the bank’s full name and a round icon with a white four-pointed star, which was located at the bottom right. The letters were very close to each other and visually almost merged. The font was straightforward, from the Sans Serif category.
1980 – 1998
After the redesign, the spelling of the word “Citicorp” changed: it became slanted. The font received elegance and refinement, and the black sign with a star was rearranged in one row with the name – at the end of the word.
1993 – 1998
The Travelers Bank logo was colorful and original because it featured a red umbrella. He personified the protection of clients from any trouble. The umbrella was at the end of the title, which was written in a serif typeface.
1998 – 1999
During this period, the fateful merger of Citicorp with Travelers Inc. The result was a financial and banking organization called Citigroup with a combined logo. The background was a gradient blue; the name was white, the umbrella was red. Moreover, he was still at the end of the inscription, covering the last letter “P.”
1999 – 2007
The developers have changed the font in the logo, making it thinner and lighter. Although the letters do not have serifs, in some places, they are replaced by oblique cuts – for example, “t” and “p.” The letters are blue, and the umbrella is bright red as before.
2007 – 2011
Earlier, designer Paula Scher from the Pentagram agency proposed her vision of the corporate logo, approved by the bank’s board. It was “Citi” with an inverted parenthesis above it. In essence, the arch denoted an umbrella, which was simplified to an upward curved stroke. Paula created her logo in ten minutes on a napkin, for which she received a half-million dollars. During the period indicated, the text was gray, and the bar was red.
2011 – present
The developers returned the inscriptions to their original blue color without touching any other details. Today, the Citigroup branding looks the same as it did in 1999 when it debuted.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The bank’s identity has undergone a major modification, based on the combination of two financial institutions and their logos. The result is clear visual identification: a printed text of the first four letters of the name “Citi” with an arch connecting the two “i” s and closing the “t.” That is, the authors have retained the elements of the two previous structures and added modern features.
After forming the new bank, the designers chose the commercial typeface Interstate Regular, designed by Tobias Frere-Jones, for its logo. It is a well-read sans serif with a medium intersymbol space and angled “t” and “p” legs. Its free counterpart is the Blue Highway-Regular font.
The logo’s palette consists of vibrant colors: Maximum red (# DB230B) and Ateneo blue (# 003A72). Visually, they are perfectly combined and stand out strikingly against each other.